Monday, December 12, 2011


Even Santa needs a break!
It's going to rain tomorrow.

Normally I'm not a fan of wet weather, particularly when said weather is also cold.  There is a reason why I live in sunny Southern California, where we all put on our parkas and scarves as soon as the temperature drops below 65.

However, at this point in the holiday season, I'm sort of looking forward to a shut-in, lazy sort of day, where "the weather outside is frightful, and the fire is so delightful."  December, in particular, is hectic.  I'm at the end of my semester, so I'm right in the middle of that last burst of grading.  My eldest has finals this week.  And there is still plenty of shopping, wrapping and baking, parties to attend, visiting, volunteering.  It's easy to feel like I'm caught in a whirlwind of color and noise this time of year, with barely any time to pause and reflect.  Never mind time to engage in one of my favorite leisure activities: reading.

Winter storms force us to pause and take a much needed break.  To reflect.  To relax.  To curl up on the couch with a thick blanket, shut out the outside world, and read.  Right now, I'm looking forward to finishing Terri-Lynne DeFino's richly woven A Time Never Lived, the incredible sequel to her first novel, Finder.  Next I'm going to resume reading either Tamora Pierce's Bloodhound or the ARC of Under the Never Sky, a forthcoming YA dystopian novel by Veronica Rossi.  Those are at the top of the towering pile of juicy fiction goodness stacking up next to my bed, but if those don't strike my fancy, I may pull out something else.  Whatever I choose, it will most likely be fantasy of some sort, either epic or dystopian.  It will provide me with a much-needed escape from the crazy day-to-day, for just long enough to recharge my batteries for the days to come.

As 2011 speeds toward its inevitable conclusion, I challenge you, gentle reader, to pause.  Pick a day.  Maybe it's a bad weather day, or a bad hair day, or even just an hour or two carved out between tasks on your to-do list.  Buy, beg, borrow, or steal the time if you must.  Forget about all of the musts and have-tos for just a little while, curl up in front of that fireplace, and lose yourself in a good book.  You'll be so glad you did.

So-- rain or no rain, what are you going to read next?

~ Kim Vandervort


Karin Rita Gastreich said...

Hi Kim!

What a wonderful post. Makes me want to curl up with a book right now. :)

I'm drawn toward nonfiction at the moment; reading 'The Botany of Desire' by Michael Pollan. It's a great book about how plants have, over generations, domesticated humans. Well, not exactly that, but history from a plant's point of view. Very well written; an easy & entertaining read.

After that, I'm not sure what I'll move on to for winter break. Possibilities include Michael Deakin's 'Hypatia of Alexandria', Alice Hoffman's 'The Dovekeepers', or 'Dark is the Sky', a new novel by Jessica Chambers.

Oh, and I will be reading several volumes of 'Dora the Explorer' with my niece, who is visiting for Christmas.

Isn't 'A Time Never Lived' wonderful? I can't wait to see it in print.

Darn. Now I'm all excited about reading, but I have to grade instead...

Terri-Lynne said...

Ahhhhh....just reading that makes me instantly relax. You are so right, Kim; this is the time of year for curling up with a great book like...ehem...A Time Never Lived.

I'm trying to squeeze in *Alison Goodman's Eon right now. I can't WAIT for the edit-crunch to be over so I can just read for the love of it.

Beautiful post, my dear, and perfect for this reflective time of year.

*Alison will be guest posting here on HoF in April!

Eric T Reynolds said...

Kim, I always look forward to the reading I get to do this time of year. Which reminds me that books make excellent gifts. Nothing like a good fantasy to escape to. And soon I get to escape into a couple of great books yet to be released like A Time Never Lived, Outcast, Poets of Pevana, and more.

Mark Nelson/ Pevanapoet1 said...

I am planning on reading Karin, Kim's and Terri's novels this winter. That and working through final edits on The Poets of Pevana will take up much of the break. That and sleep, and cooking...lots of cooking...

Oh, yeah.

Terri-Lynne said...

Eric, mine first! MINE, MINE, MINE! :-P You'll be reading them all REALLY soon.

Terri-Lynne said...

Mark--You won't be working your whole break on Poets, well, unless you want to savor the joy of it. :)

J.A. Campbell said...

I'm reading a story about a Sorceress and a Song... It's quite good, you may have heard of it :)


Terri-Lynne said...

Julie--I might have heard of that one...maybe.

Kim Vandervort said...

Hi Julie! I have heard of it... and I hope you enjoy it! :)